Fish Wrap: GOP Winning The House May Be Good For Obama

Because he really needs an enemy. Wait, what?

Let there be no mistake: President Obama wants the Democrats to win next week’s midterm elections. His voice has gone hoarse telling every audience that from Delaware to Oregon. But let’s also acknowledge this: Although he will not say so, there is at least a plausible argument that he might be better off if they lose.

Interestingly, have you noticed that Obama’s approval rating has gone up and dissaproval rating down the closer we get to voting day? The more time he spends on the campaign trail, the more time he spends away from actually Doing Something while telling us he has more work to do, the less chance for him to damage the country.

The reality of presidential politics is that it helps to have an enemy. With Democrats controlling the White House and Congress, they shoulder responsibility for the country’s troubles. No amount of venting about George W. Bush or the filibuster rule has convinced the public otherwise. But if Republicans capture Congress, Mr. Obama will finally have a foil heading toward his own re-election battle in 2012.

First, an enemy? Obama has taken to heart Anakin’s whiny “If you’re not with me, your my enemy” line from Revenge of the Sith. (unsurprisingly, the American economy looks much like Mustafar) The Chamber of Commerce, Rush, Hannity, Palin, Boehner, those Teabaggers, Karl Rove, Bush, Cheney, Republicans. You name someone who has spoken up in opposition to Obama is treated not as a political enemy, but like an enemy in a war. What would one expect from a man who has turned the official White House website into his own personal attack blog? He treats Mahmoud Amadinejad better than his American political opponents.

Second, it’s nice to see someone at the NY Times tell Democrats they should have manned up and taken responsibility, rather than blamestorming. Alas, too late, chumps.

Third, said foil will allow Obama to claim that his policies worked, once the GOP starts legislating and getting things done.

“If the Republicans capture both House and Senate, the odds of Obama winning in 2012 go up,” said Steven M. Gillon, a University of Oklahoma professor and resident historian for the History Channel who wrote “The Pact,” on the 1990s showdown between Mr. Clinton and Mr. Gingrich. “If the Democrats keep both houses, then Congress will hover over him and he’s going to have less room to maneuver.”

True, that. The GOP will pass legislation that Obama will have to sign, and the economy and country will get better, despite Obama, which will make him look better for 2012.

“If you can’t do a big energy bill, will you look for a slimmer energy bill you can do with a new Congress?” Steve Elmendorf, a top House Democratic official during the 1990s, said. “Or do you say, ‘No, I’m going to campaign for the next two years and say, I want to solve the big problems and the Republicans won’t let me.’?”

Expect the latter.

Meanwhile, one of Obama’s enemies, Sarah Palin, explains a few things to President Chump

“Friends, the president is now telling us that we’re not thinking straight because of all the fear and frustration that Americans have. He claims facts, science and arguments aren’t winning the day because we are not thinking straight, quote unquote,” Palin said.

“Well, Mr. President, you have got it right on one point there. We are afraid knowing that your economic policies are driving us off a cliff and knowing that your fundamental transformation of America is turning into a nightmare.”

The president’s car needs to be put in neutral and hooked up to a tow truck.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach. Re-Change 2010!

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